I tend toward introspection at this time of year & so on this, the eve of my birthday, I’ve decided to share a bit of what’s going on in my head!
Discussion with friends earlier this week turned to whether I was now in fact middle aged (I love these guys, they said I was not!) however, I’m not entirely convinced..
However, the definition of middle age isn’t the purpose of this post. Tonight I want to ponder some of the things I ‘ve learned as I move into this middle ‘phase‘ of my life.
I think it’s fair to say that one of the things I have really enjoyed figuring out is learning to calm the hell down and relax. Take a chill pill. Enjoy the ride. Don’t sweat the small stuff.. Call it what you will..
I’ve learned that what may seem like the end of the world today could be but a dim memory in a year (or less .. ) Of course this is totally depending on the drama. Sometimes stress has a place in our lives!
So maybe it’s not that I’ve learned to relax but that I’ve learned to be more mindful / aware of time spent worrying about ‘stuff’. And I try to pick things that are worthy of that time and energy.
Not simple – I’m afraid to say that I wasted a lot of time working this out! But I got there, and that’s exciting!
Another thing I am rather impressed at myself for figuring out is that it’s actually okay to say NO.
Again, this sounds so simple but (and I know you’re agreeing with me) it isn’t always easy to do! And I now realise that this skill is crucial to one’s happiness..
Of course, along with learning to say no, one must realise that if people have a problem with this – it isn’t necessarily your problem, but theirs.
But it’s also very fair to say that for me it was very hard because I was raised to please people (nothing wrong with doing that, but the balance must be right or you do risk losing yourself in the process) ..
Once I got this figured out, and as I’ve already said – it took a long time – well, it’s hard to explain the sense of peace that came with it..
Another lesson I believe was very important to have finally worked out is that it’s OK to make mistakes. I needed to accept that I’m not perfect, I’m human and part of being human is to make mistakes and (of course / ideally) learn from our mistakes ..
As a teen I recall someone in my life saying to me “You should never make the same mistake twice, it just means you’re an idiot”. To them I now say – you are wrong! Some lessons are so vast that we need to give it a few goes to get what we need. To work the lesson out ..
However those words echoed in my mind each time I stuffed up (and I did / do – often!) but I now realise they were wrong – and it’s actually OK.
The trick is to work out what you’re doing wrong and make moves to learn from that experience ..
Anyway, do you know what I’ve decided is number 1 on the list of things I’ve worked out? (That I think is really important to our personal well-being and happiness!)
It’s so so simple .. (but – as always – not really .. ) (Drum roll please)
I learned to love me. Yep you read that right..
I’m OK with me. Dull ol’ Joan Spiller. The crazy goat lady. The woman who has too many dogs. Is passionate, has a terrible sense of humour, can’t hold down a job. Travels too much. Cooks with cream & wine more than is healthy (for all it’s so good!) – you know, she’s that strange woman of whom you (hopefully) think fondly.
You see I think I have finally realised – she is actually totally alright! Yep, dull ol’ Joan Spiller. As is, where is. No questions asked. Unconditionally .. and all that jazz.
Like I said, this whole acceptance thing is a damn sight easier said than done! It seems there are always people you can rely on to undermine what you are doing. What you value. What you think is .. OK. And not just people, sometimes even situations will present that make you doubt yourself.
People will come into your lives and treat you less well than you deserve, use you, lie and / or discourage you.. They can’t see how cool you are. Let’s face it, stuff does not always work out. And so you can be left feeling hurt, stressed, unhappy – or .. whatever.
Therefore, with that realisation, it makes total sense to DIY, doesn’t it!
Cos at the end of the day, if people don’t get you, don’t love you, don’t treat you the way you deserve – YOU need to do something about it. You owe it to yourself ..
I guess all that’s left to say – without wishing to sound harsh (heck, it took me over 20yrs to realise this) – I sure as hell don’t have time to convince anyone else I’m OK! Instead, I am just gonna relax.
And enjoy the ride of my life ..